One Response


    Many of the third parties providing supplier auditing services are performing an ISO audit approach streamlined to fit within the compressed timeline desired by the customer. Second party auditors are usually more in tune with the controls most critical to the customer and can penetrate those areas to ensure the customer needs are being met. In my experience it does little good to replicate what the ISO auditors have already done in a slimmed-down third party audit. It is much better to focus the supplier auditing effort on a few of the key controls and penetrate to ensure the supplier is actually executing to meet the intent behind the controls. Example: Many of our supplier agreements have a clause for customer approval or notification prior to changes to materials or processes. How many times have we experienced quality problems which trace back to changes the supplier implemented without complying with the approval/notification clause? Are we sending our supplier auditors out to actually review the supplier’s changes and confirm they are notifying us or getting our approval? In my experience most ISO auditors don’t have time to verify compliance to this level, and many times third party and second party auditors don’t either. This is not to say that third party auditing of suppliers is not adequate, but it is important that the mission is clear and that the auditor has the practical quality management experience to sniff out important nonconformities.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.